When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

by Yvonne Chase on March 4, 2019

When you were a child, how did you complete the statement; “When I grow up, I want to be…In my last post, I shared 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me. Here’s number 26; the one thing I wanted to be since childhood is an actor and that is why the Oscars this year was special for me. It was a night where childhood dreams came true.

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Olivia Colman
Best Actress win for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite

My journey started in college where I minored in Theater and was cast in several productions.  As I continued on, graduating college and working in television, I made time to take acting classes at HB Studios, Weist Barron and monologue workshops with a private coach. In addition, I took vocal lessons because of my love for singing.

Then I moved to Los Angeles, CA and took even more classes and got my first agent. I was terrified of what I’d have to go through to get an agent. It’s an impossible task that requires mailing your headshot and a resume to agents with the hopes that they open the envelope and bring you in for a meeting at which time they decide if they want to represent you. Most agents don’t open the envelope and that is why it’s so hard to get one.

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

But God. One day while sitting in a Panera Bread in Studio City, an older woman, man and young boy that looked like their grandson sat at the table next to me. They ordered and somehow we got to talking. I thank God for the gift of gab and I thank him even more for giving me a deep interest in people so much so that I really delight in talking to strangers.

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By the time I left Panera Bread, she was my agent. Only God could have a talent agent walk in and sit next to me. She sent me on quite a few auditions and I booked a couple of commercials. When the recession hit, her small boutique agency suffered and she closed her doors. I was sad!

Fast forward to my return to New York in 2014. One day I made my way to the Drama Bookstore, the place where thespians hangout. I was sitting at a back table when a woman I got to talking. Told you I love talking to strangers. She had recently graduated from a prominent acting school in the city and she offered to pass my name along to her teacher. I interviewed, got accepted into the two-year acting program and then the bottom fell out and life unfolded in a way I didn’t expect. I had to put attendance on hold.

And then my mother died. When that happened, I made a commitment to myself to do everything I want to do while I’m alive. I’m not going to my grave with anything in me so I went back to talk to the Administrator. I told him about my fears, concerns, desires etc. He said to me, “At some point, you’re going to have to do this. If you really want to do it, you gotta jump in. You can’t keep thinking about it. You gotta do it! I’m here for you. Call me and let me know when you want me to schedule another interview”

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When my birthday came around, I gave myself the gift of stepping into it. I called the Administrator, scheduled my interview and got accepted into the program again. Here’s what I’ve learned since starting; to be a great actor, you need three things:

A wonderful voice and speech
A responsive instrument
A whole lot of temperament

Well, guess what, God gave me all of the above in spades. If you know me personally, you know I have a whole lot of temperament; too much at times. Ha! People have been telling me about my voice forever. Even my teacher stopped me one day after class to talk to me about the power of my voice. And my instrument; my body, my soul, my heart are open and responsive. God really gave me everything I need to do this work. I’m having the time of my life!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Whether you’re working behind the scenes or on-camera, the business of TV and film is difficult. It’s unstable and there is no guarantee you will ever work. Plus you need to make a living in the meantime and still have a flexible schedule to audition which is why Geoffrey Owens, formerly of The Cosby Show worked at Trader Joe’s. You’re essentially living a freelance life which I’ve been living since I graduated college. Watching the Oscars gave me hope. To see Regina King, Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler win their first Oscars and Mahershela Ali win his second was inspiring.

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The best moment of the night for me was when Spike Lee won his first Oscar for Blackkklansman. That leap into the arms of Samuel L. Jackson was everything! Spike waited for this all his life and finally got it at the age of 61.

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Spike Lee
Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay
BlaKkKlansman

Being recognized for your work with awards is great, however, for me, it’s not about fame. It’s about working in a space where I can unapologetically use my God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. A space where my presence isn’t too strong, my voice isn’t too powerful and I don’t have to shrink any part of who I am to be great.

If you knew my story, you’d know I’ve been fighting to achieve this dream for a long time and that is why I was moved to tears by Lady Gaga’s acceptance speech. She said, “If you have a dream fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”

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And then there was the powerful Nike commercial featuring Serena Williams. Did you see it? Below are some of the words and the video. Watch and we’ll talk after…

If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic.
If we want to play against men, we’re nuts.
If we dream of equal opportunity, we’re called delusional.
When we stand for something, we’re unhinged.
When we’re too good there’s something wrong with us.
And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy.

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been called crazy, delusional, unhinged, irrational and all of the above, I’d have more money than Serena Williams. June completes my first year of study. I’m incredibly proud of myself for stepping out and finding out. The timing of it all feels right. We’ll see what God has in store as I continue to fight for my dream and walk this path of faith. Who knows, maybe one day, we’ll hear, “And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her first ever Feature Film role goes to, E. Yvonne Chase.” Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing!

Something to think about…

What say you? What did you want to be when you were a child? Are you doing it? Why not? Do you still want to do it? Let’s talk in the comments…

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol March 4, 2019

Your story is an inspiration for writers also. Blessings!
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Yvonne Chase March 15, 2019

@Carol,

That’s great! I hope it’s an inspiration to everyone who reads it. As long as we’re alive, we can pursue the dreams in our heart. Blessings to you as you write your dreams.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…25 Things You Don’t Know About MeMy Profile

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Nellie Acevedo March 4, 2019

It’s so obvious that you are made for this!! Keep pushing mama, you will get exactly where you want to be! You are so right, nothing is impossible with God…nada.

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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Nellie,

Thanks for the encouragement to publish this post. I wrote it immediately following the Oscar’s, however, I held onto it and was going to keep it to myself until I saw your tweet about putting our dreams out there into the Universe. It felt good to release it into the world. Hopefully, it inspires others to pursue their dreams.
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Terri March 4, 2019

I absolutely loved this post. I can totally relate. Once upon a time I had dreams of being a professional singer and winning a Grammy. I spent time accepting my Grammy award in the mirror and the performances I would do. As I got older, I fell in love with a new dream – becoming a columnist for a national magazine. But sometimes I do miss singing. I recently re-discovered my love of singing from singing my son to sleep.

Can’t wait until the day, I revisit your blog and see that you finally won that Oscar!
Terri recently posted…10 Tips to Stay Motivated and Focused on Your Goals All Year LongMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Terri,

Dreaming is good, isn’t it? And yes, dreams change and evolve, however, the dream of making my living as an actor never left me alone and that is why I had to step out and find out.

Did you ever become a columnist for a national magazine?

Thank you for your positive words. I appreciate you.
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Terri March 6, 2019

Not a columnist yet, but it WILL happen in time. I do right for magazine though.
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Sigrid Chu March 4, 2019

Hello Yvonne,

This is such an inspirational post! Thank you so much for sharing your story and the story of others. I wish you all the best in your program!

Best,
Sigrid
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Yvonne Chase March 15, 2019

@Sigrid,

It takes courage to share our deeply personal stories. I’m glad I bit the bullet and hit publish. Thanks for the best wishes.
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Lisa notes March 4, 2019

Show us what crazy can do! I hadn’t seen the Nike commercial. Very inspirational. As are your words, Yvonne. Keep chasing your dreams!

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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Lisa,

“Show us what crazy can do” is my favorite line of the entire commercial. I dare say it takes a dose of crazy to go after our dreams and I’m glad God gave me that dose.
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Lauren Sparks March 4, 2019

It’s so inspiring to hear you are chasing your dream. Praying God’s best for you. Chasing mine of being an author! laurensparks.net
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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Lauren,

Now praying Gods best for you as you chase your dream of becoming a published author.

Thank you for your prayers.
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Random Musings March 4, 2019

Good on you for following your dreams. I always wanted to be a writer when I was growing up. It took me until my 30s to do it, but the moment I left my job to become a full time writer was the moment I knew I was living my best life
Debbie #mixitup

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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Random Musings,

It takes courage to leave our comfort zones to go after the dreams in our heart. Good for you that you took that leap of faith and are now living your best life as a full-time writer. Blessings to you.
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Michele Morin March 5, 2019

Oh, Hooray for you, Yvonne!
Keep leaning into that dream and trusting God for the details!
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Yvonne Chase March 15, 2019

@Michele,

Trusting God for the details one step at a time.
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Donna Reidland March 5, 2019

Congratulations for that step of faith, Yvonne! Who knows … when I hear your name, I can say … I knew her when … (smile)!
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Sarah Tevis March 5, 2019

Your faith is so inspiring! There were so many memorable moments at the Oscars this year. Lady Gaga’s words put the fire under me. Best of luck to you in whatever you do! #dreamteam

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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Sarah,

Lady Gaga’s words are unforgettable. So powerful and so inspiring!
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Tiffiney March 5, 2019

Hi Yvonne, I think we are more likely to hear: “And the Oscar for LEAD actress goes to Yvonne Chase!” Oh yeah, Baby! Keep doing it. Keep pursuing your dreams. What a great post! Very inspiring. I’m sharing on fb.
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Yvonne Chase March 6, 2019

@Tiffiney,

I think you’re right, however, I had to leave room for God to step in and do what only he can do. Thank you so much for your words of support and thanks for sharing this post. I hope it inspires others to pursue their dreams and to add God to their plans. Nothing is impossible with him in the mix.
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Maree Dee March 6, 2019

Yvonne, You have inspired me to keep dreaming and reach for the impossible. I am so glad I read your post. I look forward to hearing your name called at the Oscars.

More than anything in the world I wanted to be a Mom and help others. Both are true. Now I want to write a book but find every excuse in the world why I can’t.

Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up.
Maree Dee recently posted…How to Trust God in the UnexpectedMy Profile

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Karen Friday March 6, 2019

Yvonne, I’m so inspired by you. You are not only chasing your dream, but you’ve never give up on what God put inside you to do and become. So, bravo and good for you!

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Bethany March 7, 2019

I love that you are faithfully pursuing your dream!

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Annette, 3 Little Buttons March 8, 2019

This is such a refreshing read and so inspirational. You have faith in your abilities and a drive to see things through. I write, therefore I am a writer… but oh to have a book.. Now that’s where my dreams are. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam
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Debbie Kitterman March 8, 2019

Yvonne – I LOVE everything about this post. I love how all along the way God put people in your path to help you fulfill the dream you had in your heart, but also the dream He had for you. God is so good that way! I love that you haven’t given up – even in the midst of the hard places in life you are still pursuing that dream. For me, I always wanted to be a writer, a published author. I am not just a writer with my blog, but with my first traditionally published book being released August 2018. The road to pursue this dream that was in me from an early age hasn’t been easy, and fear has been around every corner, but here I am – Here you are! Thank you for sharing this post at #TuneInThursday this week and for the Nike Youtube video – I hadn’t seen it before. Blessings
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Yvonne Chase March 15, 2019

@Debbie,

Indeed, God is good that way. Good for you that fear didn’t overtake you and you stayed the course with your book dreams. I’m excited about your release date. Congratulations and God’s blessings to you.
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